Taschen Book of Photography by Andy Summers
The Police on tour photographed by guitarist Andy Summers
In the early 1980s, The Police went on tour accompanied by a photographer who documented the band behind the scenes in a series of candid and striking black and white photos. This talented photographer also happened to be the band’s guitarist, Andy Summers. Yes, it’s true‹the man responsible for the guitar lick from “Every Breath You Take” was not only the backbone of one of the most popular bands of all time, he also possessed a visual gift for composition and mood that allowed him to capture the spirit of The Police better than anyone else could have.
This book, somewhere between photojournalism and an illustrated diary, follows The Police around the globe between 1980 and 1983. From the American West to Australia to Japan, Summers recorded not only the band members rehearsing and partying‹the proverbial sex, drugs, and rock and roll he also photographed fans, landscapes, still lifes, and passersby in a reportage style reminiscent of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank. Containing over 600 photos and filled with diary-style entries, I’ll Be Watching You is a sumptuous volume beating with musical energy, nostalgia, and atmospheric beauty. A must for photo buffs and Police fans alike.
I’ll Be Watching You: Inside The Police, 1980-83
By Andy Summers
Hardcover, slipcase, 27 x 34 cm (10.6 x 13.4 in.), 378 pages
Editions: ISBN 978-3-8228-2764-2 (04/2007: German, French, English)
Nice Price Edition. Released September 2007
Hardcover 9.8 x 12.4 inch, 376 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8228-1305-8 (German, French, English)
Collector’s edition features:
- Limited to 1500 copies, each numbered and signed by the artist
- Packaged in a slipcase
- Contains over 600 photographs personally selected from the photographer’s archive of over 25,000 negatives (1980-83)
- Most photos are previously unpublished, and many of them have never even been printed prior to this project
- Rehearsals and recording sessions with band-mates Sting and Stewart Copeland
- Exclusive back-stage and on-stage footage from concerts including
- Plaza de Toros (Barcelona, 1980), Budokan (Tokyo, 1981), Wembley Stadium (London, 1981), and Shea Stadium (New York, 1983)
- Inside the tour busses, limousines, helicopters, private planes, parties, and hotel rooms
- Behind the scenes on music video shoots, at press conferences, and in-store appearances
- Life on the road with other bands including The Go-Go’s, XTC, and The B-52’s
- Rain-soaked train windows, trashed hotel rooms, island retreats, over-capacity stadiums, and thousands of screaming, singing, sobbing, fans
Countries covered in the book:
America, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
The Artist: While Andy Summers is best known as the guitarist of The Police (1977-86), he has since forged a successful and acclaimed solo career with contemporary instrumental music that, like his work with Sting and Stewart Copeland, draws on his love of jazz, world, classical music, and his fascination with creating sonic textures. His post-Police years have produced more than two dozen solo albums, soundtracks, and collaborations, plus hundreds of international concerts, and induction to both the Guitar Player Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Summers’s parallel passion for photography has led him to document subjects ranging from rural communities throughout Southeast Asia to timeless noir-style street scenes in cities around the world. His photographs have been shown in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris and London, and his books include Throb (1983), the Ralph Gibson collaboration Light Strings: Impressions of the Guitar (2004), and the memoir One Train Later (2006).
I’ll Be Watching You: Inside The Police 1980-1983
A photographic exhibition by Andy Summers
In a minute, I’ll put down the guitar and pick up a camera. Sting and Stewart are already out there somewhere. I can hear Stewart whacking away at his banjo. My cameras are in that black bag down there…two Nikon FEs and three lenses with 20 rolls of Tri-X. Music – photography? The path through the centre of this experience? Another way of dreaming through the electric bubble of fame – the moth’s wing that flames out leaving only the trace of notes, chords, rhythms. Paint with light – trap it in a cluster of silver halide and put it away in a drawer. I stick the end of my guitar out above the crowd and shoot. – Andy Summers
In the midst of the frenzy accompanying the band’s reemergence, Andy Summers heralded his return with a biathlon of photographic output: an exclusive photographic exhibition in cities worldwide produced on the HP digital technology, and a book published by Taschen. The gallery shows began in June and opened with great success in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Toronto, New York and continued to travel worldwide, following the Police tour.
Past Photography Exhibitions
29th August – 8th Sept 2007
Jill George Gallery
September 1 – October 21st
October 24 – November 2
July 23 – August 20th
Newbury Fine Art
August 1 and 3
Madison Square Garden – Tenth Floor “Sky Lobby”
July 24 – August 14
Edward Day Gallery
Sagamore Hotel’s lobby
June 14- June 17
The Beatles REVOLUTION Lounge, The Mirage
June 10 -July 13
Frank Pictures Gallery
Exhibition curated by Andrew Behla and Andy Summers
Digital Imaging and Printing by Andrew Behla
Original artwork design by Taschen Publishing
Artwork design by Stuart Nicholls/rockarchive.com
Exhibition co-ordination by Russell Parker/rockarchive.com
With special thanks to:
Hewlett Packard for bringing Andy’s creative ideas to life in print. The exhibit photographs were printed on the new HP Designjet Z3100 Photo Printer series, using HP Vivera pigment inks and HP Professional Satin Photo Paper. Additional thanks to Karen Cage and Harald Johnson for their invaluable support and guidance. GPA for their donation of Ultra Digital® brand papers and to RT Associates for their use of innovative HP digital printing technology in producing the exhibition materials. Tommy Hilfiger Canada for their support of the Toronto and Montreal exhibitions. David Saltz for his support in sponsoring the Las Vegas, Miami and New York City Madison Square Garden Exhibitions.
LA TimesHeading: Capturing Every Breath the Police Took
Date: June 29, 2007
Where the group went, so did guitarist Andy Summers’ camera. His images show what it was like during the band’s heyday.
After the sound checks, in-between the room service and before the groupies attacked, Andy Summers, the guitarist of the Police, used to sneak off into deserted America with a black Leica tucked under his arm. He’d spend hours alone wandering through Seattle, Albuquerque, Fresno — hiding in the shadows of the scenery and snapping pictures to illustrate life during the frenzied early ’80s, which marked the height of success for the rock super-group.
“When you’re traveling around in a large entourage and being in a group where you’re supposed to share ideas, photography was a way for me to have autonomy over my own universe,” Summers said Monday by phone from his Los Angeles home, where he was packing as the band — Summers, Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland — prepares to hit the road again for its highly successful reunion tour.
Having amassed almost 25,000 images from his time on the road, Summers collated them and boxed them away in his attic. The images remained hidden for nearly 20 years, until a friend suggested Summers pull together his impressive collection.
So out of the dust came the aptly titled book “I’ll Be Watching You: Inside the Police 1980-83,” the recently released work Summers compiled that blends hundreds of his pictures with dated journal entries.
“We’re all fans of the Police, and there’s so much mystery surrounding the time the band ceased to function together,” said Nina Wiener, who edited the Taschen book. “The book gives us that inside access, and the real shocker is what a great photographer Andy is.”
Taschen recently distributed 1,500 signed and numbered limited-edition copies of the book worldwide, attached with a lofty $400 price tag. In October, a smaller coffee-table version with identical content will retail for $39.99.
The images certainly feed the pervasive sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll stereotype.
Among them: a crazed fan attempting to score an autograph through the band’s limo window, a maid offering room service, a naked girl stretched out beside a guitar and Sting luxuriating like a god in a glistening body of water.
“Do you hate touring or love it? The meat grinder of hell or the heaven of adoration?” Summers writes in one entry, dated Dec. 3, 1982. “But the fact that ‘they’ are thrilled to see you — with their 50,000 faces turned in your direction every night — you become part of the bacchanalia…. You shrug and then leap like a rabid dog on to the stage.”
“I wanted the book to have the quality that you’re on the inside and everyone else is looking at you,” Summers said of the compilation. “You’re below them, and they’re looking down at you all the time.”
Graying former groupies, cowboy boot-clad hippies and a handful of celebrities turned out at Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station on Friday night to catch a glimpse of 32 black-and-white pictures from the book, which will be exhibited at the Frank Pictures Gallery until July 13.
“I wanted the exhibit to reflect that rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle,” Summers said Friday, as he stood in the center of the room wearing a cool black jacket.
“I couldn’t have it all be straight. I wanted to show the uh, width of the experience,” he joked, pointing to an image of a woman’s curvaceous body.
“I see the paparazzi all have fast motor drives and shoot many pictures to find one that will work,” he added, motioning toward the numerous photographers surrounding him. “My method is much, much slower. I’m like a hunter creeping up on a deer through the forest, waiting for the right moment.”
Lead singer Sting recalled Summers’ camera as a constant presence on tour.
“I sort of got used to having Andy’s camera in my face,” Sting said. “His photos were more candid, nothing like those awful photo sessions that I hate.”
“It just feels like so long ago when I look at these,” said Copeland. “I was a 25-year-old kid. That was the old Police who aren’t connected to who we are at all now. We’re all older and wiser, totally the same people, but our foibles have been cast in stone.”
Jeremy Piven, who plays harsh agent Ari Gold on HBO’s “Entourage,” said he intended to buy two of Summers’ photos, including one of Copeland drumming, which he plans to hang above his own drum set.
“It’s like the way Hunter S. Thompson wrote,” Piven said. “Through Andy’s photos, we suddenly get to see the belly of the beast and be on tour. It’s real art.”
Summers, 64, will continue to lug his heavy equipment across the globe on the current tour, finding a creative outlet through photography and writing.
“I have to write in my journal or I start to lose it,” he said. “Particularly right now, when there’s so much furor around the Police tour. You meet so many new people and get lost in the sea of events, so you have to write it down so you don’t forget what it was.”
Though the backstage folly may have evaporated, the band insists being back on the road hasn’t changed discernibly.
“A lot of it’s really the same,” Summers said. “It’s completely comfortable to me. It was much stranger not being in the band, actually, because the experience we went through was very intense and vivid. It imprinted deeply and doesn’t just fluff out a few months later.”
“I’m a much truer man, and no one is throwing TVs out of windows now,” Sting said with a smile. “It kind of feels like mom and dad got back together; it’s a warm feeling. My instincts were perfect.”
Heading: The Police Take Over ‘Extra’ and Dish about Life on the Road
Date: July 7, 2007
They’re older, wiser and hotter than ever – The Police are back in action, reuniting for a concert tour 23 years in the making!
And only “Extra” is with Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers at a private showing of Andy’s classic Police photos in L.A., where they discuss life on the road – the second time around.
“Everything is different, but nothing has changed,” said Stewart.
“I think it’s like Mom and Dad getting back together again,” Sting added.
“It’s like riding a bike,” Andy insisted. “What was weird was the bit in between where we weren’t playing together.”
Sting decided to call up the band and reignite old flames in order to make music once again. It was a decision that’s now resulting in sold-out arenas!
“I was thinking, ‘What would I do to surprise people? What would I do to surprise myself?’ So I called the guys up they didn’t believe it either,” Sting recalled.
But he managed to gather the boys, even though they risked those notorious clashes again.
“We navigate better than we used to,” Sting said. “You know, we used to be at each other’s throats.”
Twenty years later, things have definitely changed!
“We’re all really fond of each other and have been ever since day one 30 years ago,” insisted Stewart. “We’re just opposite, and we groove on it.”
“We’re a little more grounded,” Andy agreed. “We’ve all had children since then. I think having children is very grounding.”
“We have teenage children,” Stewart said. “And when you’ve raised teenage children, that makes it easier to deal with bass players.”
Twenty years and several kids later, Sting says things have changed a lot for him, too.
“I’m very shy,” Sting insisted.
Sting, shy? The same man who had women throwing panties at him for years? He can’t possibly get over that!
Added Sting, “Having panties thrown at me? No, I like it.”
Still a rock star!
Canoe: Photography exhibition offers behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Police
Date: July 25, 2007
TORONTO (CP) – An exhibition of photographs at the Edward Day Gallery shows behind-the-scenes images of British supergroup the Police in cities around the world.
“I’ll Be Watching You: Inside the Police 1980-1983″ consists of 38 black-and-white photos taken by the trio’s guitarist Andy Summers in places ranging from Mexico City and New York City to Tokyo, Nashville and Sydney, Australia. The photos are among those in Summers’s new book, also titled “I’ll Be Watching You” (Taschen).
“It really is a behind-the-scenes perspective of that era,” said Kelly McCray, co-director of the gallery. “He has a good eye, a good perspective. … You’ve got images of the fans and you’ve got images of sort of the darker sides as well, where I think there’s a contemplation of what success is.” One “incredible” image in the show, titled “Starstruck,” shows a mob of fans waiting for autographs as the group prepares to exit from a limo, said McCray.
“Their eyes are just glazed over, and you can just see the expression in their faces – it’s like . . . I’ve reached God.” The exhibition has been following the group on tour and appeared earlier this year in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami. Future stops include London, Paris, New York, Copenhagen and Tokyo.
Heading: “Watching Them Watching You”
Date: July 25, 2007
“Watching them Watching You”
A Do Not Disturb sign hung on the door. Inside the luxury hotel suite, a classical guitar was lying on the couch, a high-end digital SLR camera on the coffee table. Next to it was a copy of James Gleick’s book Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. To the side were what looked like various complimentary gift bags and hotel treats.
Boston.comHeadline: The July Seen — Boston.com and Bill Brett’s photos around town
Date: July 11, 2007
Check out the The July Seen — Boston.com and Bill Brett’s photos around town Photo Gallery on Boston.com.